The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

The Marine and Coastal Access Act places a duty on the Secretary of State to make, where such access does not already exist, a continuous route open to the public next to the coast all the way around the coast of England and Wales.  This could have big implications on a few properties next to our coast.  To read the full article, click here.

Who can enter your home without a warrant?

It is absoluteley amazing to most persons, the number of persons who can access your property without a warrant. 

The Home Office confirmed there are more than 1000 laws which prevent an Englishmans home being as private as his castle and potentially more than 20,000 persons may have access to your home without requiring a warrant. 

A full detailed article in the www.propertysurveying.co.uk  article archive will be posted shortly.

House Prices Rise Again

Yet again the Land Registry has reported that during November the prices of Houses in England and Wales have increased.

This was the sixth month in a row that has seen an increase.  It reports that the increase was a month on month rise of 0.9%.  This has to be factored into the annual position where house prices have fallen over the whole year to the end of November but now have fallen by only -0.3%.  It may be very soon that we will be able to report an average increase.

The rate of change throughout the country is vastly different from location to location.  To discuss how matters have changed in any individual location contact your local independent chartered surveyor here.

Housing Feds. hope more Glebe lands sold

Housing Federations hope a greater amount Glebe lands will be released.

The National Housing Federation hopes that their research into the rural housing shortage will inspire the release of Glebe Lands by the Church of England. 

The Church of England owns in the region of 129,000 acres and if just a small portion of the land held in rural villages up and down the country was released for development to housing associations, as much as 10% of the housing shortage could be alleviated according to the NHF’s research.

If the land was sold on the open market with a prospect of normal development, these lands would, however, be that much more valuable to the church and provide a greater level of funds to maintain and improve the historic buildings in their control.  This land is often situated close to the centre of villages and these could often be considered to be prime locations for developers.  Much of this land also comprises graveyards or land earmarked for graveyard expansion.

Every village and location has different considerations and the Local Church Diocese has individual requirements and land resources to manage.  Should individual development locations need consideration, such as development proposals or valuations, we recomend consulting your local independent Chartered Surveyor with www.propertysurveying.co.uk

Increase in volume of New Mortgages in November 2009

We understand from reports from the British Bankers Association Data that the number of new home loans are substantially up in November 2009.  They have reached the levels of Autumn 2007, just after the peak of the housing market in terms of prices. 

These figures are double those of the similar month in 2008 when the housing market was at a very low ebb.

Loans for equity withdrawal were notably lower as were remortgaging loans issued.  The BBA said that “Household priorities were showing up in the November figures”, suggesting that households were paying off debt and saving more. 

The way that this affects Individual locations within the wider market is varied and independent advice should be obtained with the housing market as with any market.  Consult a local Independent Chartered Surveyor by sourcing a contact through the propertysurveying network.

How the snow can help you keep your house warm

It can seem a contradiction but the snow can help you keep your house warm.  This can happen in two ways.

Firstly, a covering of snow can help reduce the wind chill factor from extracting the heat from surfaces that are covered with snow.  For instance if your roof is covered with 4 inches of snow and say that the temperature is -3 degrees and there is a 20 mile an hour wind.  The wind chill factor will make the temperature have a cooling affect of about -13 degrees.  Your roof though thinks that it is only -3 and therefore the level of heat loss is reduced because the differential is reduced. 

Secondly, when the temperature rises above freezing, go and have a look at your roof covered with snow.  See where the snow melts first.  Compare this with any neighbours nearby and see which parts of the roofs lose their snow covering first.  (You have to consider exposure, aspect and other factors too.)  These weak points may be due to thermal weak points and show which parts of which roofs need insulating most urgently.  

To read other interesting articles on property matters go to the propertysurveying.co.uk website and click on the link to the Article Archive and Newsletter

Insulation of Timber Floors

Very often, when people are insulating a house, they insulate the roof space, double glaze the windows but forget to insulate the floors.  If the rest of the room is insulated, the floor becomes a thermal weak point.

A solid ground floor is difficult to insulate retrospectively.  However, if there is enough room to increase the height of a floor slab or if it is a suspended concrete slab construction, one can sometimes get access under the floor making it possible to improve insulation.

For the rest of this article, click here.

HIPs to be scrapped?

The housing spokesman for the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps, has said that they would scrap the Home Information Packs (HIPs) “in a matter of weeks” after coming to power.   He has said that it would be his first job should the Conservative party win the next general election.

This follows claims by some estate agents that the packs are impeding the housing market recovery, as the cost of a HIPs report commits the vendor to expenditure of, typically, some £400, even if they do not sell.

For the rest of this article, click here.